Asthma? Post Nasal Drip? Or Acid Reflux?

Question

Asked by trw1972

Asthma? Post Nasal Drip? Or Acid Reflux?

Hi all Im just wondering if my symptoms sound like asthma to people here or something else. About ten weeks ago i developed a cough, it gradually got worse too the point i was coughing almost to the point of vomiting, i was very wheezy indeed but bizarrely only at night (and it was much worse laying down), i was bringing up a moderate amount of white/clear phlegm. Eventually i went to the doctor, who listened to my chest and said my chest sounded infected. So he gave me 5 days of prednisolone and 7 days of antibiotics. It worked very well indeed, i felt much better within 24 hours. About 2 weeks after coming off the prednisolone though things started going wrong again, the cough never came back as badly, but it was still there, and id say about 5% of the time i coughed i brought up a small amount of white phlegm. So back to the doctors i went, he listened to my chest and it is clear, he did a peak flow test and is was 590 (which i think is almost normal for my height sex and age). He said it may be asthma so he gave me two inhalers a preventer and a reliever. Ive got x-rays of my chest and blood tests coming up (but no investigation of my throat) Since then i still have a cough, still bring up a little phlegm and still have a feeling that my throat is tight. I am no longer wheezing to be honest and not struggling to breathe anymore. I dont know how effective my reliever would be as ive not had to use it So what is this likely to be? Asthma seems to be my docs guess, but ive been told it does not usually result in a 'tight throat' feeling or any phlegm coming up?..phlegm seems to be worst when i awake Post nasal drip- i dont have a blocked nose? although i do sneeze sometimes Acid reflux, i dont have any heartburn etc. Sorry for such a long question and many thanks

Answer

Hi there... You certainly are exhibiting some of the symptoms of asthma. For instance, a night cough, especially when lying down, is a hallmark symptom, as is wheezing. Shortness of breath and chest tightness (not throat) are also common symptoms of asthma.

Unfortunately none of those symptoms are unique ONLY to asthma, and with the mucus you were bringing up, it's not surprising that your doctor decided to treat you for a respiratory infection. The prednisolone is a steroid and could be why you started to feel better for a while, though, if you did indeed have asthma too. (You could have had both asthma and an infection, as asthma can make respiratory infections more common.)

You may be having less wheezing now precisely because you are taking the preventer inhaler. That is, after all, what it is designed to do. When you do cough, you might try using the reliever medicine. I find that it will quickly relieve coughing spells I have as a result of my asthma.

There is nothing wrong with you requesting a consult with a pulmonary specialist to evaluate you further. A specialist will be more well-versed than a family doctor in the ins and outs of respiratory conditions.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Kathi

Answered by Kathi MacNaughton